3 tips for embracing martech
Change isn't easy. Columnist Mary Wallace discusses ways to get everyone in your organization on board with new solutions and technologies.
Martech, short for marketing technology, refers to the technology-based initiatives and tools that assist marketers. Some are in the cloud, while others reside within your own environment.
Regardless of location, martech empowers us to be more efficient at what we’re doing. It helps us solve problems like getting personal with our leads and segmenting, as well as understanding the interests and intent of our contacts.
In today’s world of mobile, always-on buyers, technology is fundamental to what we marketers do. In fact, understanding martech has become increasingly important for successful senior marketers, according to a recent study (registration required) by DataXu, in collaboration with market research firm MORAR and Withpr.
Bottom line: Martech makes us better! It doesn’t alter what we do; it shifts how we do it.
To understand and embrace martech, we need to change how we lead our organizations, get our jobs done and manage our personal growth. Change is not easy.
Resisting change is the norm, as Makarios Consulting’s Rip Tilden and Tim Thomas write in the Philadelphia Business Journal — even though resistance can hurt our opportunity for growth and success. Just say the word “change,” and people dig in their heels.
Uncertainty, loss of control, concerns about competence and apprehensions about expected work effort are just a few reasons for the resistance to change, Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter says in Harvard Business Review.
Here are three change management tips for embracing martech within your organization.
Create a culture for change
Clearly communicate the need for change. As marketers, we communicate with our leads and contracts to educate them about solving problems and to show the benefits of our products and solutions. These same concepts need to be turned internally.
Communicate the business value and the WHY (benefits!) of the new technology. Share vendor case studies and examples with your organization.
Focus on “what’s in it for me,” says Carolyn Reid, change management leader at SimplexGrinnell. This means it’s not all about the company, but rather how the individual will see benefit from the change.
Conduct training — both on the shiny new martech tool and on how to prosper in an environment of change. Sharing and discussing books like “Who Moved My Cheese?” is also a great way to open up the discussion about change.
Discuss apprehensions and reasons for resistance. Simple, honest conversations can dissipate the fear and provide a pathway to acceptance.
Clearly define goals and expectations for the organization. Shout wins large and small as they occur!
Invest in expertise
It’s not very realistic to expect everybody within your organization to learn every detail of the new tool, says Rohit Roy of MarTech Advisor. Designate internal individuals to become experts. If that’s not an option, find a consultant or hire somebody with experience to run the tool.
Empower the expert to lead the charge. Make him or her the in-house advocate who communicates the benefits and wins.
Rely on your expert when making decisions that concern the use of the tool. Calling the shots without tapping into their knowledge can negatively impact the performance of the tool for years to come.
Make it an evolution, not a revolution
Change is constant in today’s world. No tool remains static for long. A ton of flex and change accompany the myriad of tools — new tools becoming available, existing ones no longer supported and changes in the ones that stay around.
Avoid an implementation plan that is set in concrete, says Business 2 Community’s James Nicholson. He cautions that new and relevant information, no matter how inconvenient, is not your enemy. You’re still getting the change your business needs, even if you take a slightly different path to get there.
Don’t try to boil the ocean with any given martech solution. Focus on low-hanging fruit or accomplishing specific projects. Not only does this let you proclaim early wins, but it also helps ensure you can measure the impact of the new technology. Another benefit is that you can make course corrections early if needed.
Keep up to date by reading blogs and newsletters. Get involved in vendor-supported communities that are focused on the technology you’ve deployed.
New features and functionalities are constantly being added to tools. Keep up to date with the changes so you can take advantage of them.
Generate conversation within your organization about new possibilities to better engage leads or gain a greater understanding of contacts. Include business stakeholders, marketers and technology experts in the discussions. The different perspective will result in a well-planned road map and ensure that whatever path is taken is viable from all angles.
Embracing martech within your organization is not a once-and-done effort. It’s about constantly thinking outside the box to find better methods for engaging and converting leads. And it’s about living with change and technology to make us better at what we do.